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104. Alec Canyon & Nibb's Knob (01/30/99)

Hikers (9): Eugene, Gina, Hoa, Jinglan, Le, Nicholas, Peter, Russ, Steve
Distance: 8 miles
Rating: 3 difficulty, 9 beauty
Park info: Uvas Canyon County Park near Morgan Hill

Write-up by Gina

The Alec Canyon hike was a new hike for I.N.C.H. It was said to have been a short, easy, and close to home hike - perfect for me! Not only did I think I would actually be able to make it, but I was sure Nicholas, my three-year-old, would make it too.

So after a good breakfast (eggs, potatoes, pancakes - thanks mom!), Nicholas and I headed out for the trailhead. On our way there, Nicholas had many questions about where we were going and what we were going to do. I tried to joggle his memory by naming names of the people that I thought would be there. We stopped on Taylor and I reminded him that Taylor was the one that loved him. I told him that she would probably try to kiss him and he said he was going to run away. As it turned out, Taylor wasn't there so Nicholas was able to conserve his energy for the hike.

We arrived at the trailhead a few minutes after 10. Everyone else was already there so we quickly got out of the car and got prepared. Unfortunately, Nicholas suddenly became Mr. Shy and he wanted to go back in the car. After some coaxing he decided to come along but I had to carry him from the parking lot to the start of the trailhead.

1, 2, 3, ... INCH!

Considering it was January, it was a good day for a hike. It was a little cold but we soon warmed up as we climbed the first half-mile of the hike. The guys were way up ahead while the girls followed behind. Nic and I were last and to be honest, I don't know if he was holding me back or I was holding him back. As we climbed that first half mile I was a little worried that Nic and I wouldn't be able to make it but the trail leveled out after that and it was smooth sailing. Well, semi-smooth sailing.

Everyone else was pretty far ahead but Rusty stopped to put on some wrist weights. Obviously the hike was a piece of cake for him and he needed more of a challenge. (If only he knew the challenge that was waiting for him later.) Rusty waited for Nic and me and continued hiking along with us.

We made it to Manzanita Point (~1 mile) with out too much more difficulty but Nicholas was starting to complain that his legs hurt. There was a nice bench to sit on but Nic was afraid he would fall down to the trees below so he refused to sit down and take in the view. (Peter, what did you do to my boy? That fear of heights thing better not be contagious!) I had to hold him while we enjoyed the beautiful view. I don't remember what Russ was doing while we rested. Probably trying to get rid of that excess energy by doing jumping jacks or one-arm push-ups. Ha!

We continued on to Triple Falls. At the beginning of the incline to the Falls we came across Peter, Steve, and Eugene. They had already been to the Falls and were on their way back down. This was when I knew Nicholas was feeling better because he and Eugene started in with their "You're gay" war. I think Nic got the last word in and as shouted over his shoulder one last time.

We continued on and mid-way up the incline, we met up with Hoa, Jinglan and Le. We exchanged pleasantries and they encouraged Nicholas to keep going - we were almost there!

Sure enough they were right! The sound of the Falls was getting louder as we made our way up the incline. Finally, the "End of Trail" sign was in sight. Nicholas insisted that all three of us touch the sign to show we had completed the trail.

After a bit of a rest we started on the return trip. By now Nicholas was feeling really good and he proved it by trying to throw every rock he could find in the water. It took twice as long to make it back to Manzanita Point but this time there wasn't a need to rest.

We came to the Contour Trail and decided to take that instead of heading back to the trailhead. This wasn't too great of an idea because about 1/4 mile into it Nicholas wanted to be carried. I got him to go on a bit further by talking about McDonald's.

After about another 1/4 mile and a bribe of one of Rusty's granola bars, that was it, Nicholas had to be carried. I started off carrying him "piggy back" and Rusty was kind enough to hold my backpack. I carried him for about 1/4 mile (probably less) when I told him he had to walk because I needed a break. Rusty then made one of the biggest mistakes of his life, he offered to carry Nicholas! Nic was very happy but I had to keep reminding him to hold on to Rusty's arms and not to wrap his hands around his neck. Rusty carried Nicholas at least a half mile until we reached Swanson Creek. We took a break and pulled out the map. We didn't see a trail (except on the other side of the creek) so we weren't sure if we were supposed to cross. After looking around some, we decided the best thing to do was cross the creek. There were some rocks that could be used for crossing so I picked up Nicholas, asked Rusty to take my back pack, and I slowly crossed the creek. Rusty decided he wasn't going to use the rock route that I did so he just trudged right through. It wasn't that deep but I didn't want wet shoes!

We continued on and soon we found the Hot House Site that was listed on the map. It made us feel better because at least we were still on trail. Also, I don't know what it was with Nicholas and water but he thought crossing the creek was fun so he suddenly decided he would walk and throw rocks in the water.

Unfortunately, we ended up walking away from the creek so again, Nic wanted to be carried. This time, Rusty carried him for about 1/4 mile until we reached Upper Falls. Again, Nicholas wanted to get down to throw rocks in the water. The hike to the Upper Falls was a short one (according to the map) so we decided to go check it out. Nic wanted us to touch the "End of Trail" sign again.

When we got back to the beginning of the Upper Falls trail we noticed that the Basin Falls trail was even shorter! We went to check it out (I thought it was better than the Upper Falls) and all three of us hit the "End of Trail" sign. Nicholas was happy.

We continued on to (hopefully soon) the end of the trail. We passed Knobcone Point, which was where Peter and Steve had taken a detour. I looked at the map and saw the word "Steep" next to Knobcone's trail and I knew it was not a good idea for us!

By this time, Nicholas was getting really hungry. Rusty gave him a second granola bar (I had left our food in the car - oops!) so he was able to walk about 1/4 mile. That was all we really needed though because we met up with Peter and Steve! Yeah, the end was near!

Finally, after a little while longer, we were back at the trailhead! Whew, we made it! Unfortunately, we still had to walk to the parking lot, which was past the picnic area and bathrooms. When we reached the bathrooms Nicholas and I stopped while the guys continued on. We made it back to the car and I got our food. We joined the guys at one of the picnic tables before heading home.

We found out that Hoa, Jinglan and Le had already left and Eugene hitched a ride with them. Peter, Steve, and Rusty were going to do the Nibbs Knob trail after eating. I declined the offer to go with them and explained that Nicholas and I needed to go to McDonald's!

We said goodbye to the guys and headed towards our car. As we made our way to the freeway, Nicholas was sound asleep. We did make it to McDonald's but it wasn't until later in the afternoon. At least that's one way that Nic and I are similar - sleep comes before eating! :)

Le's 1st leaf
Nicholas's 1st leaf

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